Volume 21 Number 34
                       Produced: Tue Aug 29 15:42:49 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

12 and 1
         [Kenneth Posy]
Abayudaya of Uganda
         [Andy Goldfinger]
Beware of a Definition of Orthodoxy
         [Kenneth Posy]
Definition of Orthodoxy
         [Eli Turkel]
Halacha and Morality
         [Arnie Resnicoff]
Kavanah OR minyan
         [Micha Berger]
Kittel at Wedding
         [Tova Taragin]
Kosher Vitamins
         [Freda B Birnbaum]
Oops! Beit Shammai
         [Joseph Steinberg]
Political vs Halachic Definitions of Orthodoxy
         [Michael J Broyde]
         [Gayle Statman]
Sources on Homosexuality
         [Eliyahu Shahar]
Wine for Havdalah on a Postponed Tisha B'av
         [Mechael Kanovsky]


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 1995 12:12:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 12 and 1

Dr. Tennen writes:
>the 12-knights around the round table,
>the 12-imams of Shia Islam,
>the 12-months,
>the 12-disciples,
>and many other manifestations in many other faiths and cultures also
>represent the same 12 around 1 (or triple-one) pattern.

     I am not clear on what Dr. Tennen is saying here. Is he saying that
these things came from Judaism, or that Judaism is but one of several
cultures that adapted the "twelve around one" formula? I would have a
problem with the second formulation.
     But then, I am not clear on the entire post. If I am correct, it
appears to be a model descriptive of G-d's methodology for ma'aseh
breishis. Isn't there a halacha that your not supposed to talk about
these things in public?  (beginning of fourth pereck of megilla?)


From: Andy Goldfinger <andy_goldfinger@...>
Date: 28 Aug 1995 14:20:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Abayudaya of Uganda

   I would like to thank Karen Primack for correcting my posting about
the Abayudaya.  As I mentioned, I was repeating the information as it
was told to me by a friend of mine who was a member of the mission.
Clearly, there are some differences in perception.  Not having been
there, I can only recount what I have heard.

   In any case, the Abayudaya seem to be a very sincere and intelligent
group of people, and I feel that the Torah community should establish
contact with them.


From: Kenneth Posy <kpposy@...>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 14:36:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Beware of a Definition of Orthodoxy

     From a galus perspective (although it applies in Israel also) I
think, if not talking about an ideological definition, it is essential
to shy away from taking some particular aspects of halacha in a
definition and accept the system as a whole. Often, I am accosted by
non-jewish and non-religious aquaintances who question shameful and
clearly anti-halachik behavior of "frum people". My stock response is:
Someone who does something like that intentionally is not
frum. Period. You cannot steal a million dollars and be frum, even if
you keep shabbos and wear a kipa. There are many non-orthodox jews who
do not keep shabbos but also don't murder, does that make them Frum?
With allowance for human frailty: this is an all or nothing lifestyle.
     A personal anecdote: Where I go to school there are under twenty
orthodox students. The precise number depends on your definition of
orthodoxy. The admissions office counts anyone who is either observant
*or* went to an orthodox dayschool. They say there are nineteen. Most of
the community members only consider the first criteria. The number the
community advertises is eleven. (Small, but VERY warm and friendly!). My
own definition is similar to R. Broyde's(never intentionally violate
halacha): I think there are seven. However, the one thing that *noone*
requires is a kippah, and of my seven, only three keep their heads
covered all the time in public (And for one of them, it is a much
stricter requirement: she's married).

Betzalel Posy
Yale College, Class of '97

P.S. I would like to emphasize that while, the undergraduate community
at Yale is weak, the overall orthodox community(including graduate and
professional) at YU, north campus, is vibrant and growing. We are
agressively recruiting frum people to come for a premier educational
experience in a small, but very friendly community only an 1.5 hours
from New York.


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 10:38:11 -0400
Subject: Definition of Orthodoxy

    Ari Belenkiy wants a definition of orthodoxy among other reasons to
help win the Israeli elections. Through many election Mafdal had gotten
many nonreligious and even nonJewish votes. I suspect that many/most of
the votes for the Sephardic party Shas are not from orthodox
voters. Thus, I suspect that stressing definitions of orthodoxy will
lose not win elections.  Sephardim in particular seemed to have been
more flexible in their acceptance of the many. I have heard many stories
from Morroco etc. of Jews who went to shul on shabbat morning, received
aliyoyt etc. and attended to other practices on shabbat afternoon. They
were not thrown out the community for such practices. The outcome of
such an attitude is that, today, nonreligious sephardim are (in general)
more respectful and close to religion than their ashkenazi
counterparts. I feel that today we stress to much definitions, who is
charedi, modern orthodox, conservative, traditional etc. These are
generally used to exclude people from "our: group. We should spend more
time on bringing all Jews together and less on divisive definitions.

   With that said I disagree with Rabbi Bechhofer definition of
orthodoxy, though I find his orthopraxy interesting. Since he has the
backing of Rambam it is difficult. Nevertheless, I get the feeling that
many authorities of recent generations have down played principles and
stressed the practices of the "simple" Jew. To the best of my knowledge
the Talmud itself does not doctrines and this began in the middle
ages. It is interesting that the Mishna discusses some conflicts between
the Pharisee rabbis and the Saducees. Can anyone conceive of a modern
counterpart discussing debates between orthodox and reform rabbis?
Obviously the Saducees were not considered beyond the pale but were
oppponents to be dealt with seriously. According to many historians the
Saducees did indeed believe in an oral Torah just a different one from
normative Judaism. The Saducees kept mitzvot sometimes more stringent
than the Pharisees. Is the wine touched by a Sadducee "yayin nesech"?
Since many of the priests and even High priests in the Second temple
were Saducees then the blood they poured on the alter was not

     To take an extreme (made-up) example of someone who is
"sociologically Orthoprax" Let us imagine someone growing up in a
religious neighborhood.  He follows all the mitzvot, maybe even attends
a kollel. If someone were to press him he would say that he never really
thinks about G-d, certainly not a creator, Messiah, resurrection
etc. These are too philosophical for him and are irrelevant. He does
mitzvot because that is how he was brought up and has no inertia to
change. Such a situation is certainly not ideal and his prayers to a G-d
that he has feeling for are not very vaild.  However, I find it
difficult to say that such a person is not orthodox!

Eli Turkel


From: <Resnicoff@...> (Arnie Resnicoff)
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 00:02:49 -0400
Subject: Halacha and Morality

IMHO, there is a difference between saying that halacha demands morality
and halacha defines morality.  The verse "kedoshim t'hiyu" has already
been mentioned, but there is also "thou shall do that which is right and
good in the sight of the Lord" (Deut 6:18).  Based on this verse, at
least three discussions in Babba Metzia include occasions when the
"strict" halachic answer is set aside in favor of a more moral ("good
and right") approach.

Arnie Resnicoff


From: Micha Berger <aishdas@...>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 1995 06:54:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kavanah OR minyan

I too am troubled by being forced to choose between kavanh and minyan. I
guess this says a lot about the way minyanim are run. (I guess that
brings us back to the talking in shul thread, and even earlier, to the
bringing your kids to shul thread.)

Joe Goldstein toys with the idea, concluding CYLOR. However, we hold
many leniencies, cases where davening without kavanah need not be
repeated even though the gemara says it should, since we believe that
kavanah is not an achievable goal these days. If so, wouldn't we say the
same here -- that whatever it is we are trying to attain by davening at
home is not sufficient kavanah to have halachic bearing?

There is, however, ample source material that one should choose to daven
kivasikin (at sunrise, using the earlier possible time to daven). So,
while I could not picture a LOR choosing home+kavanah over shul, it is
possible that home+kavanah+kivasikin may be preferable.

One misses a lot by not attending the same shul twice a day regularly.
There is an important social aspect and communal link you build with the
other regulars that has IMHO serious halachic significance.

So, my personal solution is to attend shul (deadlines at work
permitting), but not to even try to keep with the minyan.

Micha Berger 201 916-0287        Help free Ron Arad, held by Syria 3220 days!
<aishdas@...>                     (16-Oct-86 - 28-Aug-95)
<a href=news:alt.religion.aishdas>Orthodox Judaism:Torah, Worship, Kindness</a>
<a href=http://haven.ios.com/~aishdas>AishDas Society's Home Page</a>


From: <Tovt@...> (Tova Taragin)
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 10:48:34 -0400
Subject: Kittel at Wedding

Yosy Goldstein's post on not tying knots in the tichel -- brought me to
the question of what is the real reason of wearing a kittel...and why is
there a new minhag to wear a raincoat over it.  (I don't remember this
from years back) The answer I was given was that the kittel reminds us
of "day of death" (i.e tachrichim) and the choson doesn't want to be
reminded of it.  I always thought that the wearing of a kittel was
because it is a personal "Yom Kippur" for the chosson and kallah - on
the day they get married and just like a man wears a kittel on Yom
Kippur he wears one at the wedding...one does not wear a raincoat on Yom
Kippur to hide his kittel so he shouldn't have to hide it on the day of
his wedding.  About the jewelry -- I never heard that it is because of
solemnity...rather I heard that the kallah does not wear jewelry at the
chuppah to show that the chosson is marrying her (not her money or for
material gain!).  Please correct me if I am wrong about the above. Thank
you. Tova Taragin


From: Freda B Birnbaum <fbb6@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 13:06:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Kosher Vitamins

What's the story on the need for vitamins to be kosher?  Friends asked
about some vitamins they saw in a health-food store, calcium proudly
proclaiming itself to be "natural -- from oyster shell".  I know there's
a line of kosher vitamins (or used to be?) -- Freeda.  Is this an
enhancement or a necessity?  Are there other easily-available sources of
calcium in pill form?

Freda Birnbaum, <fbb6@...>


From: Joseph Steinberg <steinber@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 09:17:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Oops! Beit Shammai

Oops. The first 3 mishnayot in Beitza may be the 3 cases of Beit Shammai 
being more lenient than Beit Hillel -- not the 3 cases of the Halacha 
being like Beit Shammai. (There are 3 cases of each.)


From: Michael J Broyde <relmb@...>
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 00:25:07 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Political vs Halachic Definitions of Orthodoxy

One writer wrote in:
> > Michael Broyde said that "kipah is not required to be an Orthodox."
> This is a learned answer of those who... look back. (I repeat: those are
> doomed to lose). In the present, kipah is much more manifest and
> important than questionable (and often political) kashrut regulations.
> Besides "kipah" - what makes us RECOGNIZABLE in the crowd.

It is important to distinguish between political and halachic 
definitions.  The writer of the above seemed to be interested in having a 
slogan, rather than forming a defintion true to our halchic heritage.
I, at least, would find it very distasteful to exclude people from 
orthodoxcy merely because they are deviating from the current "in" 
slogan, so long as their conduct is consistent with the heritage of 
halacha that we all try to live with.
Michael Broyde  


From: <Gayle_Statman_at_ED__SWPCO@...> (Gayle Statman)
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 95 09:35:15 EST
Subject: Prophets

The chumash shiur I attended last night that dealt with the issue of
false prophets.  In the course of the discussion, someone stated that we
know there will be no more prophets until mashiach comes.  Does anyone
know the source for that?  Does that mean that mashiach will be a
prophet?  And that mashiach will be the only prophet?  Or will there be
others at the time of mashiach?

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.



From: <cdstmh@...> (Eliyahu Shahar)
Date: Sun, 27 Aug 1995 15:00:36 +0300
Subject: Sources on Homosexuality

I have a friend who considers himself traditional and believes in the
validity of the torah and mitzvot, but has urges towards homosexuality.

I would like to be able to give him references as to where the
prohibitions of homosexuality are stated.  Can someone help me out?
Including the Gemorrah, Rambam, Shulkan aruch, whatever sources are


Eliyahu Shahar


From: <KANOVSKY@...> (Mechael Kanovsky)
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 1995 15:06:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Wine for Havdalah on a Postponed Tisha B'av

In regard to making havdalah on a tisha b'av that was postponed. Although
the Dagul Merevava quotes the Maharil saying that one can use wine for
havdalah, the Ramah says in the same place that one should not use alcohol
until the next day and he too quotes the Maharil. The Aruch Hashulchan 
based on the Ramah says that one should make havdalah on chamrah de'medina.
I was unable to resolve this conflict and unless someone has access to the
original Maharil it will have to stay "be'tzarich iyun".
mechael kanovsky


End of Volume 21 Issue 34